Agile Training

Training is a great way to deliver structured, logically sequenced education to a person or a group of individuals.  Intensity of trainer-trainee interaction varies.  In less interactive training (often used with larger audiences), trainer-trainee interaction is typically limited to Q&A.   In more interactive training (workshop-style, used with smaller audiences, study groups, classes) trainer-trainee interaction may include games, role play, break out sessions, presentations, in-class assessments and other engaging techniques.

Below is a comprehensive curriculum of training topics that are recommend to organizations, teams and individuals in the form of a comprehensive multi-day training course or multiple, independent topic-focused workshops, spread out gradually through time.  With the latter option, it is recommend to deliver topic-based training sessions in a logical order – to minimize knowledge dependency and maximize information retention.


Agile Overview (Introductory)

Agile Budgeting & Finance
  • Triple Constraint Triangle of Conventional Management
  • Why Agilists understand Budgeting better than Finansists?
  • Why Project Management area is so “protected”?
  • Decomposing Budget into:
    • Forecasts
    • Targets
    • Resource Allocation
  • Forecasts vs. Targets
  • “Rolling” Forecasts vs. Dynamic Forecasts
  • KPIs: good vs. bad
  • Balanced Scorecards against Budgets – what usually wins?
  • “Splitting a bag of cash”
  • Does Meeting a Budget Drive Individual Performance?
  • What do Monetary Incentives to do People?
  • Why do we need Partnership between HR and Finance?
  • “Frequently ignored scientific evidence” (Daniel Pink)
  • Budgeting Evolution vs. Budgeting  Revolution: what is better?

  • Definition and Theory
  • Scrum Roles & Responsibilities
    • Overview of Scrum Roles
      • Product Owner: responsibilities, authority/empowerment
      • ScrumMaster: responsibilities, authority/empowerment
      • Development Team: size, composition, dynamics
    • Impact on Traditional Roles: PM, BA,  Manual Tester, Functional Leads
    • Business Community: SMEs, Stakeholders, end-Customers
  • Scrum Events/Ceremonies
    • Sprint
    • Sprint Planning Meeting
    • Daily Scrum Meeting
    • Sprint Review/Showcase Meeting
    • Sprint Retrospective Meeting
    • Product Backlog Refinement Meetings (PBR)
    • Release Planning Meeting
    • Release Retrospective
  • Scrum Artifacts
    • Product Backlog
      • Creation/Management/Maintenance
      • Prioritization/Estimation
      • Segmentation/Logical Grouping
      • Backlog “Views”: Product, Release, Sprint
    • Sprint Backlog
    • Product Increment
      • Potentially Shippable Product Increment (PSPI)
      • Minimal Viable Feature (MVF)
  • Scrum “Under the Hood”
    • Agile Requirements Management
      • Triple Constraint Triangle of Conventional PM
        • Ignoring Variability and System Behaviors
          • “Cascading” Lateness
          • Student Syndrome
          • Types of Planning
            • Velocity Driven Planning (Releases)
            • Commitment Driven Planning (Iterations)
      • Cross-Team Work Dependency
    • User Story writing
      • User Story Life Cycle: “Happy” Path
      • What User Stories Are NOT?
      • How to Formulate a Story?
      • Story Splitting/Combining
      • User Role Modelling
      • User Story Testing
      • Converting Defects to Stories
      • Slicing Stories
      • More guidelines
      • Story Splitting, Story Sequencing & Mapping
      • User Stories vs. Use Cases
      • User Story Mapping
    • Scrum Tools & Techniques
      • Work Prioritization
      • Work Estimation & Planning
        • By Analogy vs. by Calculation
        • Base-lining work (using reference samples)
        • Order Magnitude (adjusting estimation scale)
        • Estimation units: Ideal Time vs. Story Points
          • Relating Hours to Points
          • When to use each method?
          • Skill set vs. Individual Capacity Management
          • Historical Velocity Trend Analysis
          • Forecasting with
        • Estimation Techniques: Planning Poker
          • Work Volume & Work Complexity
          • Effects Anchoring
        • Planning/Agile Poker
        • Historical Velocity
        • Discarding Outliers when Data Pool is Large
        • Release Planning (release burn-up)
        • Cone of Uncertainly: Optimistic vs. Pessimistic forecasting
      • Important Scrum Elements
        • Card, Conversation, Confirmation (CCC)
        • Definition of Ready(DoR)
        • Definition of Done(DoD)
        • Visualization in Scrum
          • Scrum Board (Story Board, Task Board)
          • Viewing by Work vs. Worker
          • Viewing by worker
      • Communication in Scrum:
        • Internal & external
      • Engineering in Scrum:

        • Continuous Build & CI
        • Unit Testing & Test Automation
        • TDD
        • Refactoring
        • Technical Debt
        • etc
  • History of Kanban
  • Empire State Building
  • Continuous Workflow
    • Throughput
    • Work in Progress (WIP)
      • WIP Limits
      • Cumulative Flow Diagram (CFD)
  • Pull vs. Push
  • Pull System
  • One Piece Flow
  • Principles of Product Development Flow
    • Little’s Law
    • Managing Capacity of Workers
      • Multi-tasking & Swarming
    • Managing Capacity of Part-Time Workers
    • Reducing System Variability
    • Impact of Variation on Capacity Utilization and Queue Size
    • Throughput and System Utilization
    • Queues and Servers
    • Escalation in Kanban (e.g. L1, L2, L3)
  • Enterprise Kanban
    • Upstream & downstream impacts
    • Converting and Diverging work streams
  • Examples of Physical Kanban Boards

Overview of Agile Tooling
    • Where tools can help?
    • Where tools can hurt?
    • What to look for in agile tools?
    • Some commercially popular agile tools
      • Jira
      • Rally
      • Version One
      • TFS/VSTS
    • Use of tools in scaled solutions. Hidden relationships

Agile Scaling (Comprehensive)

Note:  While I offer an overview of most known agile frameworks, it is my personal choice and recommendation to base discussions about agility at scale on Large Scale Scrum – the unique framework that brings deep, comprehensive education about system design and system dynamics.  (Here is my personal Experience Report with LeSS.)

  • Scale or NOT to Scale?
  • Common Reasons for “Customizing” LeSS
  • Voices of “Elders”
  • LeSS vs. LeSS Huge
    Types of Product Development
  • LeSS Ceremonies
    • LeSS PBR
    • LeSS Sprint Planning
    • LeSS Sprint Review
    • LeSS Joint Retrospective
  • Communication in LeSS
  • Coordination in LeSS
  • Requirements Management
  • LeSS Roles
    • LeSS ScrumMaster
    • LeSS Product Owner
  • Distribution in LeSS
  • Component vs. Feature Teams
  • Local vs. System Optimization
  • Job Safety !<> Role Safety
  • LeSS Definition of Done (DoD)
  • Reducing Undone Work
  • Why Does Dev Ops Exist?
  • Truth about Dev Ops
  • The “Contract Game”
  • Team Maturity in LeSS
  • LeSS Product Ownership
  • Fake “Portfolio” Management
  • System Feedback Loops in LeSS
  • Management in LeSS
  • Causal Loop Diagrams (CLDs) in LeSS

Note: Please also see 1-Day LeSS Review

Recommended Pre-Reading:

The intention is to make sure that every training attendee comes with, at least, some basic understanding of the subject.  Educated Consumers are GREAT!!!

Learning Objectives (Reference from Scrum Alliance)

Below are the Learning Objectives (LO)  that are followed by Scrum Alliance Trainers (while training) and Coaches (while coaching):

Training Logistics
Use of anti-pattern examples in training:

During training, real-life examples and practical cases can be used to bring to light some most common anti-patterns that are known in agile adoption.  Every trainer can leverage his own experience or experience of peer coaches as well as market research.

Note:  Gene does not offer certifications through training. As Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach, Gene has a unique capability to offer the following certification via coaching: Certified Scrum Master(CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)

Please, visit this page for details:

If you have any questions about any aspects of training, please contact Gene directly.

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